Getting Out There For The First Time
Perhaps you have recently suffered through a breakup or the unexpected loss of a loved one, and you feel as if the adventurous part of your life is over. Travelling with a partner can be fun, but just because you don’t have a partner does not mean that you are relegated to staying home for the rest of your life. Travelling solo can be liberating, and it can be a wonderful reminder of your strength and the possibilities for new opportunities in the world. Here are some tips for making the transition from travelling with company, to travelling by yourself.
If you are nervous about booking your first solo trip, why not ease into it?
Start with eating dinner at a restaurant alone, going to see a movie alone, or taking a day trip by yourself. Once you get over the stigmatism, or the feeling of self-consciousness, you can really focus on enjoying yourself instead of worrying about how the world perceives you. Start with a meal. Instead of looking at the couples and families around you and wondering what they think of you, savor the meal – notice the smell, sights and taste of the food.
Enjoy the freedom of not having to share your dish with anyone else, and the lower cost of eating out for one.
Pick a new location that excites you.
While it is tempting to stick with a familiar location for your solo trip because there is comfort in the familiar, being alone in a place where you have been before with someone else may induce painful memories and exacerbate feelings of loneliness. Is there place you always wanted to go to, but your previous partner vetoed you? Enjoy the freedom of not having to negotiate with anyone else, and go there. Do you love to cook? Many spas and schools offer culinary classes and weekend packages. If you love to golf, go stay at a golf resort. Vacation does not just have to be about relaxing; it can be about learning something new as well.
Consider an on-foot destination.
Travelling can be stressful, particularly if you have to spend a significant portion of your vacation in the car. There are many places you can fly or drive to, that once you arrive, you can explore on foot, or using local transportation.
Consider a resort, a spa, or a town where you can walk or take a scenic water taxi to many entertainment venues. You won’t have to worry about traffic or tolls or gas, and you can focus on enjoying the scenery and the escape from everyday life instead.
Take safety precautions.
If there is safety in numbers, it follows that you may be more vulnerable alone than when traveling with someone. This does not mean that you should not go anywhere, just do your homework first. Be aware of the potential dangers of the area you plan on visiting. If pickpocketing is a common occurrence there, invest in a small crossbody bag so you can keep your valuables close to you and in sight. Make sure the hotel you are staying at is in a safe part of town. If there is a high crime rate at night, do your exploring during the day and plan on reading or watching movies in your room at night. Most towns have safe areas and less safe areas – be aware of the distinctions in the town that you will be visiting and make your plans accordingly.
Fake it till you make it.
Confidence is attractive. Smiling makes you feel happy. A positive attitude leads to a positive outcome. These things may sound trite, but they are true. If you are feeling nervous, keep your head held high and your strides long and purposeful. If you are feeling sad or lonely smile, and you just might make a new friend. Don’t think of this as your first vacation by yourself, think of this as your first vacation with your new best friend – you.
Don’t let the lack of a partner keep you from one of the great pleasures in life, traveling. Explore areas you have always wanted visit at your own pace, according to your own terms, and relish the freedom that travelling solo has to offer.
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